Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AFRO-LESS MAN RETURNS


BUT THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME – SMOKE THAT TUMBLEWEED
Temecula, CA – In a week that finally saw murder charges brought against George Zimmerman, in a year that marks our empire’s 11th in Afghanistan, on a night of wind and rain, the man who is known as Afroman, Joseph Foreman, made his appearance in Temecula at the Tilted Kilt, without an ‘afro’. What has the world come to? It was like seeing Hugh Hefner as a eunuch, Pamela Anderson boob-less, or Jay Leno chinless. Fortunately the Afroman song message remains the same as does the funk driven beat. As we like to say in the biz, it wasn’t a sellout, but it was a solid show. The supporting line-up assured that success. For me, each act brought another layer of locality in the scene.
It was a Friday the thirteenth, so as a guy with an ex who is a witch, I expected a little something, wtf. Though packing an umbrella for the weather, my only ‘bad luck’ was missing two buses that led to me walking down to the show. That really wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The air was crisp, clean, with the smell of wet freshness everywhere. As I turned to look back at my neighborhood, I saw a double rainbow and knew it would be a good night. 

Walking in the Tilted Kilt as the band Indica Roots, a regular at the monthly reggae music fests held in Fallbrook [the community that shut down its MMJ storefront reflecting the hypocrisy of society today], was starting. The band played a tight set to its loyal fan base of music supporters. Among these supporters and part of the entourage was Andrew, a band bud that I had just seen on Wednesday at a wedding reception of a mutual friend in the Bipsy* circle. It was the first ‘local bumping’ of the night.

After that it was time for Illnoise, aka Jamaal Harley, a local bud since the days of It’s About The Music, a film about the T-Town music scene started by Team Ivan Promotions before The Vault, editions 1 and 2. Sporting his local hit “I Love Unemployment”, Illnoise* pumped the expanded crowd to much of his current stuff, released that night on his latest demo CD. Picking up a copy of the latest from my friend, I brought notice of track number 9, “Smoke In The Air”, a club dance tune that has tested well, to Catter’s attention. Catter is a local DJ who will be airing out all of T-Town’s music heritage to a demo market aimed at 14-33 age range from LA. Keep it tuned here for further updates.

Loose Nuts, another band name that has been appearing around town at places that feature live entertainment, delivered a lively set. Punching out a working class punk sound with sprinkles of reggae, aka Ska, the four piece is a hoot to see live. The crowd bumped and bounced to the danceable beats in a 21+ atmosphere. Picking up a copy of their 3-song EP and listening to some of the lyrics, Loose Nuts falls into the growing category of underground bands whose music is political and fun to dance to. Check out this band the next time you see them advertised to play, and be sure to tip your local waitress :)

At the end of the LN set I ran into the ‘Nickel Sack’, a once local transplant from the Java Joz* daze as I searched for a place to grab some chow. The walk to the show had stirred my appetite and the walk past TGI Friday’s hadn’t helped. Spotting a vacated corner table adjacent to the sound board run by The Vault’s resident studio engineer/producer Alex Pappas (ex-Finch*), I copped a seat. Joined by Paul Bahou (Inverse*) another local from the old days to the present who turned 30 two days ago, we chatted and listened to Devocean*, one of the hottest ‘bar bands’ around. A ten-minute rap warm-up by Afroman add-on C-WAY brought us to the moment that we had all been waiting for, the return of Afroman.

As stated at the beginning of this report, Afroman is now afro-less. Gone was the gaudy ‘loud’ stage suit, replaced by a loose long white muumuu style shirt that looked fashionable and cool (temperature-wise) to wear. Since Afroman is a one-man phenomenon: he writes his own songs, produces and engineers them, and markets them with his own website, so watching him plug in his iPod for accompaniment from my onstage vantage point was no surprise. What did surprise and excite me was seeing him play the twelve string neck of is double-necked white guitar to one of his song solos. Listening to the Afroholic is like stepping into his own private world of warped West Coast rap parody with several hundred of his closest friends.

Afroman first lays down one of his patented aquatic bass lines and some click-clattering drum programming, and then he delves into his comedy raps, many of which are plays on common topics (cars, weed, 40s, women). Each of his songs are like an extended skit and the faces of the crowd as seen from stage level showed just how much the T-Town crowd loves the A-man. Rocking the stage wing in the IP VIP area was another old school friend, Rebecca, who caught the eye and arm of a visiting Andy Dick several years ago, see After Andy Dick. Exiting the stage the last ‘local bud’ to see was another Rebecca, she of late from the Black Market.

Though the show was enjoyed by all who attended and the Kilt girls once again provided excellent service to the crowd/patrons, my special moment came when I finally got a chance to present as a token of appreciation for his first visit and the post show interview [which you can now see and hear thanks to the link which I originally omitted but have now replaced], a signed (Ivan and me) picture taken the night of Afroman’s packed house Edge show (see previous Afroman story now with activated link). Hearing C-WAY comment “That’s hot” was all the stroking I needed besides the “Thanks man” and “Here’s my OG fan” I got from the big guy as I contributed to his safety meeting fund.

Word is already going around about what a good time the Afroman show was. If you weren’t there, you missed out. However, it is not Christian to laugh at those less fortunate so below is listed the chance to see Afroman on tour; also for my out of valley readers. Remember, smoke that tumbleweed, p'-cccooaarrrhk!

Apr 13          Tilted Kilt                  26520 Ynez Road Temecula, CA

Apr 14          Willie Boys Saloon    50048 Hwy 62, Morongo Valley, CA

Apr 19          The New Parish        579 18th St, Oakland, CA

Apr 20          The Catalyst             1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA

Apr 21          Pozo Saloon             Pozo, CA

Apr 22          B Ryders                  7401 White Lane, Bakersfield, CA

Apr 27          Jethrows Live           1281 Kimmerling, Gardnerville Rancheros, NV

Apr 28          The Underground      555 East 4th St., Reno, NV

Apr 29          Mo's Place                3600 Lake Tahoe Blvd., So. Lake Tahoe, CA

May 18         Q Sports Bar & Grill  8109 S. Cass Ave, Darien, IL

May 19         Side Outs Bar            4018 Roberts Rd., Island Lake, IL

(Jason Birchmeier contributed to this report; * - see old archives for back stories - Ed)

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